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SEARCH ENGINE Update.

Beacon is a new commercial dark web search engine from Echosec Systems, a Canadian company that aims to help companies identify threats from social media and the dark web. Beacon runs on the Echosec platform, does not require a TOR browser, and allows searchers to remain anonymous. Beacon has categories, smart filters, and an advanced search interface. Content searched comes from both the dark web and the hidden web. One aim of the search engine is to help users discover if sensitive or classified data has been leaked. Searchers must request access to Beacon at info.echosec.net/beaconform, and, if granted, it is only available for a fee as an extension of the Echosec platform.

Bing now allows site owners to submit up to 10,000 URLs per day through Bing Webmaster Tools. Previously, URL submissions were capped at 10 per day and 50 per month. The URLs can be for new or updated content on a site and must be located on the site or sites registered in Webmaster Tools.

Bing Maps has released more than 12 million Canadian building footprints as open data, which join the 125 million U.S. building footprints. The building footprints can be downloaded, used for research or analysis, and are viewable in both Bing Maps and OpenStreetMap. Bing Maps has expanded the Auto-suggest part of the Bing Maps API to provide suggestions for roads, addresses, intersections, places, and businesses in eight new countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, and Spain.

Bing News has introduced a major user interface change for both browsing and searching. Top tabs for broad topical news areas have moved from the top to the side, more like Google News. On search results, the filter options show up as buttons at the top, including time and sort filters as well as specific news sources.

DuckDuckGo was added as an installed default search engine option in Chrome as of version 73. Google reports the change is based on search engine popularity within regions. The new option is available in 60 countries including the U.S. and the U.K. Users need to manually change the default under Settings/Search Engines. Chrome dropped both Ask and AOL as default options, in the U.S., leaving only Google, Bing, Yahoo, and now, DuckDuckGo. For users who have added other search engines through the Settings/Search Engines/Manage Search Engines, the changes may not be visible if DuckDuckGo has already been added manually.

Google updated Product searches so that they may now display knowledge panel cards on desktop searches that provide similar information to the mobile search results. On desktop searches, product panels may include buttons near the top for Details, Reviews, and Stores that provide pop-up bubbles with more information for each of the three topics in a similar way to the mobile product information displays Google appears to have changed the number of viewable search results from about 1,000 to between 300 and 400 and often even fewer.

Google Assistant has introduced continuous conversations for Smart Displays so that users can have a conversation with the Assistant without having to preface every statement with "Hey Google." To enable the feature, go to Settings/Preference and toggle Continuous Conversations. Assistant also has a new Interpreter Mode designed for real-time translation between two languages. Available on Google Home devices and Smart Displays, the translated conversations will be displayed on the screen and heard. To implement the new mode, try a request to the device such as "Hey Google, be my German interpreter" or "Hey Google, help me speak French." This will work somewhat similarly to using audio with the Google Translate app.

Google Maps now includes prescription drug disposal locations. Search queries such as medication disposal near me at Google Maps (and on a general Google search in the U.S.) will identify permanent disposal locations at locations such as pharmacies, hospitals, and government buildings. Maps also now includes nearby Lime scooters, pedal bikes, and ebikes right under the transit tab for more than 80 new cities around the world. Li.me information includes time to walk to the vehicle, estimate of cost, total journey time, and estimated arrival.

Google My Business, which lets organizations control some of the information about them that appears on Google Maps and Search, has updated controls for organizations' service area and address. Now the service area can be edited separately from a storefront address. Service areas can be defined by postal code and cities covered. This new feature could be used by public libraries to better define service areas.

The Internet Archive is inviting help from libraries as it continues to work on making more scanned books available in full text via the Last 20 provision--Section 108(h)--of the Copyright Law. This section allows published works that are in the last 20 years of their copyright term to be digitized and distributed by libraries in certain circumstances. The Internet Archive is having difficulty creating an API that compares titles in the archive to Amazon records (blog.archive.org/2019/02/12/making-books-available-with-last-20-provision).

LexisNexis in the AML Insight and Risk Management Solutions products now has an Integrated Web Search to make it easier to search the web from within the products and transfer the search as well. The feature includes the ability to highlight, leave notes, and tag pertinent details on webpages used; the tagged pages can be saved with the rest of the investigation documentation.

Microsoft OneNote recently added support for phrase searching with "quote marks" to identify phrases. This is a good reminder that not all search systems support phrase searching initially. Unlike other search systems, OneNote phrase searching searches punctuation as well as letters, so a full match must include the punctuation as well.

Vivaldi, an alternate web browser, uses Search Engine Nicknames to make it easy to switch between search engines. The Nicknames can be a single letter prefix that will cause a search to run in the specified engine. To use, open Vivaldi, click on the V button, then go to Tools/Settings/Search. For each search engine, change the Nickname to your preferred shortcut. To use, simply enter the Nickname in the address bar followed by a space and the query. This is similar to using a Chrome keyword shortcut for searching.

Greg R. Notess (greg@notess.com; notess.com) is a retired faculty and graduate services librarian at Montana State University and founder of Search Engine Showdown.com.

Comments? Email the editor-in-chief (marydee@xmission.com).
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Author:Notess, Greg R.
Publication:Online Searcher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2019
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